Area restaurants offering more gluten-free options

MARSHALL – Restaurant goers suffering from food sensitivity often times find it difficult when dining out.

People with gluten sensitivity do not digest foods made with wheat flour well — it makes them ill.

The problem is that many popular food items are made with wheat flour.

Marshall restaurants have become sensitive to the needs of these people, and many of the eating establishments offer gluten-free options on their menus.

One such restaurant is Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill. Manager Hayley Merritt gave the following menu options for diners to enjoy a dinner out on the town without worrying about a gluten attack.

“The chips and salsa are gluten-free,” Merritt said. “The corn chips are made fresh every morning in freshly filtered fryers.”

Other appetizers that work include Beef Nachos, Chicken Tortilla Soup without the tortilla strips and Green Goddess Wedge Salad.

On the entrée list, diners can find Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp Fiesta Lime Chicken (without the tortilla strips), baby back ribs, Caprice Mozzarella Chicken or Steak and Southwest Chicken Salad or steak (anything without breading).

“Applebee’s also has a ‘full allergen menu’ with allergens noted,” Merritt said.

The Asian restaurants in town also tend to have gluten-free menus. The main thing is to order the white sauce instead of the soy sauce said Joe Ektanitphong at D’s Thai Restaurant.

“I’ve been in the restaurant business for 30 years,” he said. “I’ve only heard about gluten-free requests for the past couple of years. But rice sauce is a good substitute for soy sauce.”

Sunny Li at the Four Seas Asian Restaurant agrees that white sauce on steamed chicken or shrimp dishes are good choices. The Four Seas Asian Restaurant also serves a gluten-free moo goo gai pan.

Athala Thapa at the Hunan Lion also recommended moo goo gai pan and chicken or shrimp dishes without breading.

“All our noodles are gluten-free,” Thapa said. “So is the white sauce.”

Bagels and Brew will serve its chicken salads on lettuce to avoid the gluten in the breads and bagels. They also have a seasonal salad with apples and walnuts that the workers say is very popular.

The Daily Grind also has gluten-free salads and an egg bake made with potatoes instead of bread, assistant manager Tina Sturgeon said.

One of the most popular family food is pizza, but the regular crust is a gluten food. However, that is not a problem in Marshall as four major pizza places offer a gluten-free crust option. The Pizza Ranch, Domino’s, Papa John’s and Papa Murphy’s all say that all a customer has to do is order the gluten-free crust option.

At the Pizza Ranch, the gluten-free customer can also request chicken without breading and is welcome to partake of the salad bar as well.